Viva La Musíca!

For my internship I will be working under not only the New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park but also their partner organization Vivia La Musica. The organization serves the immigrant youth in New Orleans by providing them the opportunity to have access to a quality music education. The organization’s vision is for every child to feel celebrated, empowered, and to be able to self-express themselves through music.

This year they are having a music camp at the Barataria National Park which is 30 minutes outside of New Orleans. This is significant because it provides the youth access to a different Louisiana landscape that they haven’t had access to. Studies show that BIPOC families who are low-income are most likely to be deprived of the benefits of nature. Environmental racism, lack of access, and resources are a main contributing factor. The creators of the camp decided to have it here so that it can allow the youth to build a relationship with this part of Louisnana that they don’t normally see. The land is a bayou with trees, insects, and animals everywhere, along with boardwalk trails to see alligators!

I will be putting together a couple of music workshops for the children that allows them to express their relationship to this new land they are in through Cumbia music. Cumbia music is popular throughout all of Latin America so they will be able to relate to it while at the same time experiencing a new environment. I will be taking a traditional Mexican Mariachi song called ‘Mariachi Loco’ and using it as an exercise for the children to re-arrange the lyrics by taking out some of the original words and putting In what we want. Our version is going to include lyrics that reflect the environment. Instead of ‘Mariachi Loco’ our version going to be called ‘El Cocodril Loco’ (the crazy alligator). I’m excited to put this together and see what the children come up with!

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